The Estorick Collection of Modern Art

A very interesting evening organised by the Islington Arts Society. I have never heard of this gallery which is a pity as they had an exhibition of Russian lithographs in December. They were inundated by Russians apparently!!

We were invited to a Private View of works by Tullio Crali – a Futurist artist who became fascinated by flying  in the 1930s so a great many of his paintings sought to capture that feeling of flying – full of light, lots of bright primary colours – blue skies.

The pictures were very abstract and a great many were of bits of aircraft – particularly  featuring  propellers.

Other pictures- a  portrait, a still-life of fruit, a pictures of cats, some trees were all rather beautiful.

#Crali #exhibition #EstorickGallery #Futurism #abstracts #paintings still-life #London #portraits #aeroplanes

The Pastel Society at the Mall


I am grateful to my friend Ruth for reminding me that this exhibition was about to end! As usual, just too any exhibitions!! I have been to a lot of local ones recently, supporting friends.

Having said that, Christine Watson in a couple of groups I belong to, has two beautiful vibrant pictures in The Mall. Not surprisingly one had a red dot yesterday. I wonder if the other will be sold over this weekend!


A few reflections here caught by my camera unfortunately!

Several wonderful very large cloud and sea pictures from a series by Matthew Draper !!

I loved these cool scratchy pictures by Janine Baldwin

The next charcoal sketch below was an odd inclusion among all the very polished and sophisticated pictures!! Lots of scribble on pieces of rough paper stapled together! Not sure why it was there at all?


I liked these animal pictures though!


I don’t know what these are – possibly trees?


Love the following pictures but didn’t make a note of the artists


#TheMallGallery #LondonExhibitions #pastels #PastelSociety #Still_life #Landscapes

The Wallace Collection at Hertford House

This week the HWG made a trip to the Wallace Collection for sketching.

Before getting down to drawing, I couldn’t resist having a look at the current exhibition, beautiful watercolours by Indian artists commissioned by the East India Company.


Wonderful botanical studies – the first painting on the left is a sweet potato!

The birds were so intricate with such fine feathers – a very tiny brush and a lot of patience needed!!


I love the design of this skate fish – my photo is a bit blurred as it was necessarily rushed before an attendant honed in on me!!


The exhibition is beautifully mounted with whole walls covered with enlarged images taken from some of the small paintings.

I have been to the museum many times – also as I booked the restaurant regularly for groups when working in Tourism. It has become very popular recently so much more difficult to find a quiet spot.

Having drawn a great deal of the armoury on my last visit, I plumped for the alcove overlooking Manchester Square. The attendant was quite chuffed when I asked if I could include him in my drawing!! He kept very still.


My second drawing!! I was fascinated by an American woman sitting close to the Cupid and Psyche statue wearing a large black visor!!



#WallaceCollection #IndianPaintings #watercolours #BotanicalPaintings #birds #fish #London #exhibitions #statues #art plants

Model Jessica at 10a Today

I was very glad I could join the session at the Highgate Watercolour Group today. Christian arranged for Jessica, a Blue’s singer, to model for us. She was great, wearing a white organza blouse, brown denim waistcoat and net skirt. Plenty of variety to inspire the group!!

Most of the group chose to draw or paint the whole figure but I concentrated on Jessica’s face. Good practice for my portrait commissions (I usually paint portraits in oils)

These were my first two quick 30 minute sketches. One thing to take into account is that  models hardly EVER keep still!!


I had a chat with Jessica during her well earned break and heard a bit more about her singing career.

I had to dash off at 12 noon so only had time to do one more picture – but I think it is my best one!!


#watercolours #HighgateWatercolourGroup #Highgate #Blue’sSinger #portraits #models #LondonLife

Mary Quant Revisited

Odd that the second time around I should like this exhibition more!!

I went last October and it was hard to see anything really – it was so packed out. Now that it has been running so long and in fact will be closing in a few weeks, it was all quite stress- free.

I can only remember having one Mary Quant dress. I saw it featured in  Vogue magazine and was very disappointed when I found it in a shop – thin cheese cloth which was limp and see-through with a piece of block printed fabric for a belt. Once I had made a white cotton petticoat and remade the belt by backing it in a stiff buckram, it was lovely! I wore it with brown knee high suede Biba boots and caused quite a stir!!!

A lot of the cloths on display in the exhibition were very drab!!! Not at all my idea of revolutionary or exciting!! Apart from that one dress, I was never tempted to buy anything, unlike Biba where I queued up for the boots, dresses and coats!


Another item I saw beautifully photographed in Vogue magazine was some lace knee length trousers / shorts. It was good to see these on display as it reminded me of the full length evening trousers they inspired me to make!!


Definitely a trip down memory lane! Lots of Butterwick dress patterns on display! I spent hours in stores like Derry & Toms in Regent Street and Swan and Edgar in Piccadilly sitting in the large dressmaking department choosing patterns from the large pattern books before buying the fabric from huge rolls – all on the ground floor as home dress making was so popular at the time.

PVC was a great new fabric but Mary Quant’s macs were just awful and so impractical! How to get in and out of a wet mac without any buttons! My PVC mac was much nicer!!

That’s a photo of me in my lovely PVC mac on the right.

I don’t remember ever seeing these cute little dolls!! I’m sure I would have wanted one! They pre-dated the Cindy dolls that were just everywhere by the time I had daughters.

The friend I went with yesterday was studying fashion design at St Martins when Mary Quant was in her zenith. She remembered having the makeup boxes with the daisy motive – we all had thoseI should think!

She has now started photography and insisted on taking a few pictures of me!! Not quite as photogenic as I was when I was twenty!!


#MaryQuantExhibition #PVC #Exhibitions #LondonLife #V&A #dolls #fashion #photography

Portraits Today at the Highgate Watercolour Group

The last session this year at the Watercolour Group so true to tradition we first spent some time drawing and painting each other before our Christmas party.

It has been some time since I was the model – 2017 in fact – Mary has a special sketch book for these sessions and there I was in the same scarf as today!!!

The poses are just 30 minutes per person which seems interminable when you are told to keep still – but far too short a time when you are painting!!

Pictures of me by Vanessa and Christian!!

I loved painting one of our new members – Janet.


My picture of her (remember it was a very quick sketch)  I may have another go later when I have more time!!!


Another sketch I enjoyed doing was of Maggie. Amazing how everybody managed to sit so still. (I was told a couple of times that I had moved)



Maggie seemed very pleased with my picture of her!! I finished off the arms when I got home as she looked too hunched otherwise.

#portraits #watercolours #HighGateWatercolourGroup #painting-group

Leadenhall Market

An interesting choice of venue for the Islington Art Society  sketching day!! A huge contrast to Brixton Market – South verses North!! Leadenhall Market is full of beautifully  preserved Victorian shops and now has a great many smart restaurants attracting the city workers. Very evident as lunch time grew near.

Of course I WOULD choose to draw one of the the outside gateways, as I was attracted to the contrast of the ornate Victorian architecture with the modern skyscrapers in the background. I was cold through and through before I had half finished and had to give up! The others in the group very sensibly sat around the central covered area or actually in the cafes!

Before heading off home to warm up, I walked round the market to see how the others had got on. I could only find Sue and Diana!!!

Both were well wrapped up as well as being under cover!

I found out later that Christian had been very sensible sitting inside a cafe!!!

#LeadenhallMarket #sketching #markets #watercolours #cafes #ArtInTheParkGroup #IslingtonArtSociety #CityOfLondon #aquarelle #LondonLife #UrbanSketcher

Brixton Market

I just happened to mention to a friend that I was going sketching in Brixton Market and out of the blue she commissioned me to paint a picture for her son as a House Warming present.

I was really surprised as she has said on several occasions that she isn’t artistic at all so maybe the last person I expected to be interested in my pictures, but her son had recently bought a flat round the corner to the market.

He is only 23 so I wasn’t sure how he would take to a watercolour, but I’m told he was really pleased!!



He chose the last one – as I thought he would. More industrial

#Brixton-Market #markets #London #London-Life #shopping #flags #watercolours #paintings

Antony Gormley in the Royal Academy

I went to the exhibition a week or so ago but have been too busy to do a blog!!! I wasn’t that excited about going as there have been so many exhibitions over the years but my friend Chris said it was a great experience.  Not what I had expected but I agree with Chris, a great experience although I didn’t wait in the long queue to go through the tunnel – sorry – The Cave!!

The exhibits started small with carved stones, and then there were a lot of the  familiar life sized figures in cast iron with numerous nuts and bolts. Naturally a fair number were upside down fixed to the ceiling or horizontally from the walls.


One of the huge RA galleries was filled with twisted wire ( something to do with infinity ) and this gallery led us to a single figure made out of steel bars – very poignant with head bent. Difficult to really see the figure with so many people, but with patience, I managed to get a couple of photos.


A lot of the delicate drawings show how the transition is made into these interesting forms.

Gormley’s sketch books were very interesting – first a few lines, no more than doodles, gradually developing into familiar landmarks such as The Angel of the North.

fullsizeoutput_6551The sculptures entitled Body and Fruit were beautiful – suspended on rods from high up in the ceiling, they gently swayed.


After “The Cave” which was formed with huge bocks of rolled steel, there was just the flooded gallery to see. A very original idea but I must say I was slightly disappointed!! The water looked muddy and uninteresting – I would have liked to see shells or possibly the carved stones. Also it was impossible to photograph the arched door as well as the double reflection – maybe with a better camera, not just using the mobile.

#Antony_Gormley #Royal_Academy #London #Sculpture #statues #Figures #Sketches #Paintings #Water #The_Angel_of_the_North


Commission Completed!!

It was quite a long gestation but glad to have finished my commission for a friend’s birthday present to her husband!!

She was a bit unsure when she unpacked the canvas – she expected it to look exactly the same as the photo and of course she wanted to please her husband!!

Anyway, he LOVED the painting so all smiles when I met her today!